Am I Crazy? Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in CFS/Fibromyalgia
by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.
In medicine, we have a bad habit. If a doctor cannot figure out what is wrong with the patient, the doctor brands that patient a “turkey.” Imagine calling an electrician because your lights do not work. The electrician checks all the wiring, can’t find the problem, and says, “You’re crazy. There’s nothing wrong with your lights.” You flip the switches and they still do not work, but the electrician just says, “I’ve looked. There’s no problem here,” and walks out the door. This is analogous to what many CFS patients experience. I apologize for the medical profession’s calling you crazy just because we cannot determine the cause of your problem. It is inappropriate and cruel.
Fortunately the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), one of the major governmental agencies responsible for CFS (and other) research, is spending millions of dollars on advertising to dispel the misconception that CFS is all in your mind. They are working hard to teach both doctors and the public that CFS is both a very physical and devastating illness. Hopefully, getting treatment will be easier in the future. Continue reading →
It was January 2007 and I was back in my surgeon’s office, having decided to investigate my condition myself. The plan was to find out whether there was a recurrence of what had led me to surgery in the first place. We’d already ruled out anemia and we now knew that my ultrasound results were great. So why was I still recovering after 16 months?
There was a new face in the mix. Dr. Nutis was doing a fellowship with Dr. Nezhat and had been observing our interaction. Now he’d asked the question that turned out to be pivotal.
“I’ve been preparing for this appointment since about 9am,” was my reply. It was 3 in the afternoon. Also, it had taken a few months for me to return for that day’s ultrasound test since showing up was an unpredictable process. My doctor’s appointments usually got cancelled a few times before I finally made it because on many days I didn’t have the wherewithal to drive anywhere. Continue reading →